The United Kingdom has announced a Ksh. 1.3 billion fund to support fintech startups in Kenya. This announcement was made by The Lord Mayor of the City of London Peter Estlin during a visit to Nairobi last week.
The investments will focus on Kenyan fintechs that increase financial inclusion for low-income and underserved consumers.
“Today’s announcement highlights the mutual benefits of closer financial co-operation to both the UK and Kenya. By forging partnerships across Africa, the UK’s financial services sector can turbocharge national economies and empower individuals financially, creating thousands of jobs and enriching lives across the continent.” the Lord Mayor said.
Speaking during the announcement, the British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott said: “Kenya’s FinTech sector is strong, diverse and growing quickly. The innovators we met today show the future of Kenya’s economic growth and I am proud that the UK is able to support their work, helping create growth, jobs and the achievement of the Global Goals in partnership between our two countries.’’
The funds will be channelled through the Catalyst Fund supports business development and investor opportunities for early stage fintech companies in emerging markets. With support from the UK Department for International Development, the Catalyst Fund will help connect a further 30 local fintech companies with international investors and mentors, including Kenyan fintech companies.
Amolo Ng’weno, CEO of BFA Global who manages the Catalyst Fund, noted that in Kenya, access to digital financial services is no longer the major issue -…’’ today we need to work toward ordinary citizens improving their financial health, gaining new access to opportunity and accessing basic services.’’
He said att BFA, they see a significant opportunity for inclusive fintech startups to play this role. However, in order to succeed, they require early stage capital, partnerships which can enable pathways for scale, and access to a high potential talent pool.
‘’Our mission at the Catalyst Fund is to accelerate these startups and strengthen the inclusive fintech ecosystem, and we look forward to working toward this goal with the support of UK Aid.”
The Lord Mayor’s visit comes ahead of the first UK-Africa Investment Summit next year, which will bring together businesses, governments and international institutions to encourage investment in a range of sectors, including fintech.